*Says policeman slapped him
*Party didn’t obtain permission for rally – DIG
From John Silas (Lagos) and Adewumi Ademiju (Ado-Ekiti)
Armed policemen caused panic and fear among residents of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital when they unleashed terror on People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters.
The police authorities had sent men of the Anti-riot Squad to stop the PDP’s “Victory Rally”, which they described as illegal.
Even the governor, Mr. Ayodele Peter Fayose, was not spared of the police ordeal as he appeared in the public on a bandaged neck.
Before the police dispersed them, the PDP supporters had massed around the New Pavilion, near the Government House, for the rally.
Suddenly, the police struck and fired several tear gas canisters into the crowd to disperse them.
After the fiasco, the governor was found sitting on the ground, apparently exhausted from effects of inhaling tear gas. He was immediately rushed to the Government House Clinic for medication.
The AUTHORITY learnt that trouble started when Fayose sought explanations from security agents on why they stopped his supporters.
A credible source said that immediately the governor disembarked from his vehicle, the policemen moved towards him and ordered him to return to the Government House.
He added that they threatened to open fire on some of his aides, who became livid about the police action.
Emerging from the clinic after a while, Fayose, who was decked in a neck collar, expressed sadness over the incident, saying the police had declared war on the people of Ekiti. He cried towards the end of his speech.
He added: “I was slapped by a policeman who kicked me and shouted at me, but I want you to be strong and be of great courage; do not be discouraged, this battle must be won.
“They have come to occupy our land; this is not our democracy. I call on the international community and relevant agencies to know that Ekiti is under siege. How can l be the governor of Ekiti State and be manhandled like this?
“I will go back to the hospital and rest. Be resolute, stand with PDP and Eleka. I am in pains, but I prefer to bear this pain because of you.
“I call on international community, Nigerians that Ekiti is in trouble, they have arrested many PDP members, put them in chains and locked them away.
“Come and rescue Ekiti State. We are the majority; we are the party to beat. They said they have the instructions to kill me or the candidate of our party but they will fail”.
In a statement issued by the state government, it was alleged that agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and is governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi, attempted to kill Governor Fayose.
According to the governor’s media aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, who signed the statement, “Today (yesterday), those holding power in Abuja placed knife on the neck of democracy by unleashing terror on the peace-loving people of Ekiti State, including the governor, Ayodele Fayose.
“Attempt was clearly made to assassinate the governor. He only escaped being hit by the bullets and teargas canisters fired by the policemen by the whiskers. That was after the policemen had openly assaulted him.
“The armed Mobile Police (MOPOL) had barricaded the Government House, preventing movement in and out of the seat of power in Ekiti State.
“The mission of the policemen, who acted on the instruction of the APC governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi, was to prevent the PDP from holding its victory rally.
“The APC was so intimidated by the huge crowd that converged at the Government House entrance that they invaded the campaign office of our governorship candidate with armed policemen.
“When Governor Fayose came out of the Government House at about 11am to inquire why it was blocked, the MOPOL Commander said openly ‘governor my foot’.
“He said he had instructions from above to kill whoever challenged his authority and before one could say jack, he ordered that his men should start shooting and firing teargas canisters.
“In the process, Governor Fayose sustained injury and fell. He was immediately rushed to the Government House Clinic and later to the State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, where he is recuperating”.
Earlier, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG – Operations), Mr. Habilal Joshak, said police action was because PDP did not obtain permission for the rally.
On the blockage of the Government House, Joshak said: “We are not here to usurp the authority of Governor Fayose. We are not here to rubbish him because he represents the people.
“But, we are not going to allow any unauthorised rally that can trigger violence in the state. You can see that the state is tensed up.
“As law enforcement agent, we must be proactive and take actions that can prevent crisis rather than trying to quell it after it might have broken out,” he said.
He said policemen only blocked the road from Fajuyi to the State Secretariat and not Government House as alleged.
Joshak explained further that in order to ensure free, fair and transparent election, the security details of Very Important Personalities (VIPs) in the state would be withdrawn on Saturday.
He told journalists that he would work with Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Mr. H.H. Karma and three Commissioners of Police: Ali Janga, J.B. Kokumo, and G.B. Umar, who have been assigned to each of the senatorial zones in the state.
Joshak said they had contacted the security details of Governor Fayose and Fayemi and other top officials to report at 6am at the Police Headquarters in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.
“We won’t allow anybody to go to the polling booth with armed men; this is a breach of the Electoral Act. We have contacted them and they have to be here before election commences.
“This election must not be compromised. They will be documented and whoever defies this will be sanctioned, because they have been contacted,” he warned.
“Those who want to create posts where votes are going to be bought will be disappointed. We are not going allow it.
“If you cast your votes, you can keep a distance and protect your votes, but if you snatch the ballot, we will cut off your hands, if you run with it, we will stop your legs.
“If you come out with masquerade on the day of election, we will get it arrested and unmask the man behind it,” he warned.